What is Taco Tuesday (or T2), you might ask?
Well, this alliterative holiday is a weekly ode to deliciously cheap tacos,and a great way to relax with your friends. I have been attending Taco Tuesday celebrations for over 2 years, and it's definitely nice to have something in the middle of the week to look forward to, so you're not just waiting for Friday to hurry up and get here.
We gather at the bar around 8 and partake of $1.00 tacos, play pool and darts, and hang out on the deck if it's nice outside.
At the center of this group is our faithful friend, Taco Dan. Dan is the genius behind the counter, the master of the grill, the wizard of the fryer. He has made us delicious tacos week after week for years, and he has patiently listened to more intoxicated ramblings than I care to remember.
Well, Dan has moved on to bigger and better things. *sniff sniff* His final Taco Tuesday was last week, but a power outtage left me without the means to finish my surprise cake.
Yeah, go ahead and take a closer look at those pictures. They aren't real tacos...
You will need:
To make a taco cake, you need patience, creativity, and a sense of humor. At least, that's what I needed to get mine finished. In addition, it might help to have:
- Cookie mix
- Chocolate cake mix
- chocolate frosting
- chocolate sprinkles
- assorted candies (orange starbursts, twizzlers, watermelon airheads)
So, first we need to make some tortillas for the taco shells. I figured cookie dough would be a good substitute, so I grabbed a bag of snickerdoodle mix and whipped it together. Then I popped it in the fridge for an hour to harden up.
Then I attempted to make a tortilla size circle, which I baked for a few minutes over the recommended time.
Then while it was still warm, I attempted to carefully fold it over like a taco shell...
The bottom cookie is the result of that attempt. So for the other two cookies I just let them cool in their flat shape.
This was my genius solution to the crumbling cookie problem. I glued the sides together with frosting, and carefully filled them with the beef.
Make your chocolate cake, and while it is cooling pop it out of the pan and start crumbling it with your hands. Add a few scoopfuls of chocolate frosting to make it clump together, and some sprinkles for the hell of it. Because everyone loves sprinkles.
Set the taco shells upright in a basket, surrounded by fancy paper to distract people from the poor craftsmanship of the tacos themselves, and drop the beef-cake (ha!) into the shells. Then you get to move on to the tedious task of creating sweet toppings. Sorry, did I say tedious? I meant to say fun!
I ripped apart some watermelon airheads to make the lettuce, and though I wish I had something thinner like fruit by the foot, this was easier to buy in bulk from Wegmans.
The tomatoes are make out of twizzlers that I cut into little pieces using kitchen scissors, and the onions are white (mint flavored, I think?) dots, that I sliced into wedges. And because no taco is complete without cheese, I melted starbursts in the microwave for 10 seconds, flattened them out, and cut strips with my scissors.
Then to complete the look I added a cup of sour cream (marshmallow fluff) and salsa (smushed strawberries).
So there you go! Taco cake. Easy except for making the damn shells look presentable, but I'm surprised at how realistic the beef looked, so it's a trade-off. This would be a fun activity for kids, or for a birthday party cake. Who knows, with more patience and less wine they may be able to perfect the cookie folding part that drove me insane. They'll probably accomplish it with a lot less swearing than I did too...
It's strange to me that I lack the patience to make fancy cakes. After all, I have years of training as an artist, and am able to completely lose myself for hours in a painting or sculpture. But if my materials are edible? Forget about it.
Oh well, let's just hope Taco Dan is pleased with his cake, and I have my fingers crossed he figures out how to eat it without it all falling apart.